Joe Maddon to Manage Cubs in 2015

The latest info that sends Joe Maddon to the north side of Chicago for 2015.

Andrew Friedman leaves for the Dodgers

It's the end of an era in Tampa Bay. What does the future hold?

2015 Rays Schedule released

We disect the 2015 Rays schedule.

Dec 10, 2012

Sheilds, Davis to KC; Myers to TB

by Aaron Giddens
James Shields
James Shields
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Sunday night the baseball world was rocked when the Rays and Royals agreed to a trade that sends pitchers James Shields, Wade Davis and a player to be named later to Kansas City in exchange for outfielder Wil Myers, right-hander Jake Odorizzi, left-hander Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard.

I'm just shocked. Still trying to manage to pull my jaw off the floor. I like the deal, I think the Rays ultimately come out on top in this deal if Myers lives up to his potential, but I'm sad to see James and Wade leave. Good luck in KC, boys. Don't forget where you started. Also, a warm welcome to Wil, Jake, Mike and Patrick.

Nov 26, 2012

Longoria staying in Tampa Bay through 2022

by Aaron Giddens
Evan Longoria
Evan Longoria
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Today the Rays announced that they have signed Evan Longoria to a 6-year extension worth $100 million, with a club option for a 7th year in 2023.

Longoria, 27, batted .289 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs in only 74 games because of a partially torn hamstring. He is a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.

Of the deal Rays principal owner Stuart Sternburg said in a statement, "We drafted Evan in 2006 with the belief that he and the organization would grow with each other and together accomplish great things, that is why the Rays and Evan signed a long-term contract in 2008, and it is why we are extending our commitments today. Evan has clearly become a cornerstone player and a fixture in our organization. We are proud of what we have accomplished these past seven years, and I expect the best is yet to come."

Nov 21, 2012

Mitch Williams prediction in context

by Aaron Giddens
Most of us last night saw the following tweet from Rays radio announcer Dave Wills.



But with context the meaning of his prediction changes a little bit. So let me real quick provide said context and Mitch's justification for his AL East prediction (which goes Jays first, Yankees second, O's third, Sox fourth and Rays last.)

The search for Offense in 2013

by Aaron Giddens
Longo swings for the fences
Longo swings for the the fences.
Courtesy: TampaBay.com
The Winter Meetings are coming up and the Rays are in need of major moves to improve the offense to be able to compete in the AL East in 2013 with the Yankees who are sure to reload, the O's who are sure to be competitive again and the newly stocked Jays.

The Rays can't afford to go excruciatingly cheap on offense again this year. If they do, the Rays will again be watching October from home. Pitching is nice, but you need offense to make it worth anything. So here are a few options I like for the Rays.

Nov 16, 2012

And the winner is....

by Aaron Giddens

As you learned on Twitter a few minutes ago, you voted and we have named our 2012 Moment of the Year. The winner is....

Carlos Pena's Opening Day Grand Slam and Walk-off hit


65 votes in all were cast, here's the voting breakdown:

Poll results
(click to enlarge)

The winner will be displayed on the right side widget bar of the site until Opening Day starting Sunday.

Did the fans get it right? Let us know in the comment section below.

Nov 14, 2012

David Price wins AL Cy Young Award

by Aaron Giddens
David Price
David Price
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
He did it! David Price is the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner. He beat out Justin Verlander and Jared Weaver for the honor. With that, Price is the first Cy Young winner in Rays franchise history.

Fernando Rodney finished 5th in the voting with only 1 first place vote.

Congrats to Price! On to 2013!

Nov 13, 2012

Marlins with a firesale, Blue Jays possibly benefit

by Aaron Giddens
In what could be a trade for the ages, the Blue Jays just got a lot of talent due to a fire sale in Miami.

The word going around is that the Marlins and the Blue Jays just agreed to a huge trade. Here's the details according to MLB Network:

Blue Jays acquire Marlins acquire
Josh Johnson, SP Yunel Escobar, SS
Jose Reyes, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, IF
Mark Buehrle, SP Henderson Alvarez, SP
John Buck, C Justin Nicolino, SP
Emilio Bonifacio, UT

This would be a huge trade if complete, probably the biggest of the offseason, easily outdoing the possible Justin Upton trade.

What does this mean for the Rays in the long run? Nothing good, that's for certain.

The 2013 AL East just got tougher. Yikes.

Nov 9, 2012

LINK LOTTERY: BJ declines qualifying offer

by Aaron Giddens
As expected today, BJ Upton declined the Rays 1-year $13.3 million offer and elected for free agency. This frees the Rays to go after a trade for Justin Upton, as we discussed yesterday.

Other things of note:

  • Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says that the Rays biggest trade chips are Price and Shields and most feel that Price has no chance of being moved this year and Shields being moved is unlikely. [FOX Sports]
  • A.J. Pierzynski says that he wants to return to the White Sox in 2013 or if he can't he would like to play in his home state of Florida for the Rays. [CSN Chicago]
  • Andrew Friedman chats with MLB Trade Rumors. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Shadow of the Stadium takes a look at what this past Tuesday meant to the Rays. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • Rays Index takes a look at whether Hellboy is as good as his stats suggests. [Rays Index]
  • Rays Index also suggests that the recently released Jason Bay could be a good fit in Tampa Bay. [Rays Index]

Nov 8, 2012

Rays could make a run at Justin Upton [UPDATED]

by Aaron Giddens
Justin Upton
Justin Upton
Courtesy: Flickr
[UPDATE, 11/9/12, 4:19pm ET]: BJ Upton has officially declined the Rays qualifying offer freeing the Rays to officially try to acquire Justin.

[Original story]: So today we learned that the Rays are interested in BJ's brother Justin. He's exactly what the Rays need: a good bad that is young. There are problems, but they're easy to overcome.

First the Rays would need BJ Upton to reject the qualifying offer the Rays made to receive a draft pick. Which is almost a certainty. Next the Rays would need either the D-Backs or a third team in a possible 3-team trade to eat some of Justin's contract. (He's contracted to make $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, $14.5 million in 2015.) Then it's just a case of which players do the Rays ship off to Phoenix.

The Rays could make one of the first big splashes this off season if they get Justin, but while they are a favorite to land the 25 year old, they aren't the only team looking at Justin.

Other teams mentioned are the Rangers, Tigers and Yankees.

So it will take some work by Andrew Friedman to land Justin. But it's not impossible. It's not even a "dream big" long shot either.

Could Justin find a home in Tampa Bay? We'll just have to wait and find out.

Nov 5, 2012

Joel Peralta stays in Tampa Bay

by Aaron Giddens
One of the biggest pieces of the Rays puzzle that was being lost to free agency this offseason was Joel Peralta. I say was because Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Joel is staying put in Tampa Bay.

The deal is reported worth a total of $8.5 million. That is 2 years worth $6 million and a $2.5 million dollar option for 2015, reports Topkin. The deal is pending a physical.

Was this a good move by the Rays? I think so, but let me know what you think using the comment section below.

Oct 29, 2012

Winter is back

by Aaron Giddens
Snow covered Kauffman Stadium
Snow-covered Kauffman Stadium.
Courtesy: royals.mlblogs.com
Last night the summer officially came to a close for baseball fans across North America as the San Francisco Giants won the World Series to claim their second championship in three years.

With that the 2012 season is no more. We have entered the off season and what a doosy it will be for Rays fans. This year we likely loose BJ Upton and Jeff Keppinger.

Oct 26, 2012

Mayor Foster rejects Rays' request to explore Hillsborough

by Aaron Giddens
As if we should be shocked, today St. Pete mayor Bill Foster rejected the Rays' request to explore all possible stadium sites in Tampa Bay (specifically those that are in Hillsborough were rejected), TBO.com reports.

The specifics of the deal that Foster rejected would have given St. Pete final say on any potential stadiums, in Pinellas or Hillsborough.

By a result of this decision by Foster, this means the Rays won't discuss with CityScape who proposed a stadium in the Carillon business park area. Why? Because the Rays have said they will not talk specifics of a new stadium there unless they are able to talk to everyone in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

In the end, this is just another example of the reasons Bill Foster is single-handedly writing the plane ticket for the Rays to move elsewhere. To which I have one word: Idiot.

Oct 14, 2012

Expanded replay possibly to be in place for 2013

by Aaron Giddens
In a very telling Q&A with Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, Bud Selig has just given hope to those that want expanded replay in MLB for 2013.

Here's the important section of the interview:

Yankees fail to sell out Game 1 of ALCS

by Aaron Giddens
One of the Rays' biggest critics of attendance are Yankees fans. Usually they say things like "Tampa doesn't deserve a team." "They can't even sell out a postseason game." "Contract/Move the team." Well, tonight the Yankees fans are a shining example of hypocrisy. Per Steve Carney of WDAE on Twitter:




The Bronx doesn't deserve a team. They can't even sell out a postseason game. Contract/Move the team.

Did I cover everything?

Oct 2, 2012

A's win; Rays eliminated

by Aaron Giddens
Coco Crisp celebrates with teammates
Coco Crisp celebrates with teammates.
Courtesy:MercuryNews.com
It's over. The Athletics won tonight in a crucial game 160 and eliminated the Rays (and Angels) from postseason contention.

Tonight, hopefully the Rays and Rays fans learned an important lesson. As meaningless as one game can sound in the context of a 162 game season, 1 loss can crush your entire hopes. The Red Sox learned that last year, we learned it this year.

Oct 1, 2012

Win or go home

by Aaron Giddens
It's all down to this. Games 160 through 162. If the Rays sweep they do their part, but A's also have to be swept. It only takes 1 A's win or 1 Rays loss to end it all for 2012. That is, the A's magic number is 1.

This is why I don't buy in to the argument that "it's only one game". If we had one or two other games we would have more life in us. But people made excuses and now we're learning the lesson that the Red Sox learned last year: that one loss can make or break your season, even in April.

Tonight the Rays have their work cut out for them. Facing the Orioles and Wei-Yin Chen. Chen has not been an easy opponent for the Rays statistically speaking. He's been practically average. An ERA over 3 versus the Rays.

It's literally one game at a time. Play ball!

Sep 30, 2012

What it will take to get the 2nd Wild Card spot

by Aaron Giddens
Today the Rays playoff chances took a hit, despite the win by the boys in blue. The Yankees and Orioles also won, thus eliminating the Rays from contention for the division crown and the first wild card spot leaving only the second wild card spot in play for our boys. The A's also won, making this final series even more important, if that was even possible. And finally the Angels split a double header with Texas.

For the Rays to claim that second spot, the following MUST happen:

  • The Rays will have to sweep the Orioles.
  • The A's will have to be swept by Texas.
  • The Angels will lose at least 1 to the Mariners.

So while it is possible, it so highly unlikely it's practically over. The Rays September rally will likely come up short. But stranger things have happened with this team so maybe we shouldn't count them out just yet. Baseball is unpredictable after all. So we will have to wait and see. But for now, the Rays BARELY have a pulse.

Sep 28, 2012

1 year anniversary of #Game162

by Aaron Giddens
Today is the 1 year anniversary of what is arguably the best day in baseball history. 2 Teams who were counted out at the beginning of September and 2 teams who were considered shoe-ins for the playoffs did the opposite of what commentators said. And of course one of them was our Rays.

The Rays have themselves in a similar bind this year and could be heading to another miracle Game 162 on Oct. 3rd. But for now, enjoy this funny video from September 27th, 2011. It's MLB Network's reaction to the Orioles and Rays walk offs that night.

1 Year ago on BRaysball Talk: #Game162

by Aaron Giddens
Taking a cue from Rays Index, we're look back at one year ago on BRaysball Talk as the Rays completed an improbable rally and made the playoffs.

RAYS WIN!! PLAYOFF BOUND!! — September 28, 2011, BRaysball Talk

Sep 19, 2012

Through 148 games, hope is fading, or is it?

by Aaron Giddens

Well we're through 148 games so after some inspiration from Rays Baseball Talk I decided to go back and look at the standings last year at after game 148 and compare it to this year. Below is the result of that:

Sep 16, 2012

A look at the 2013 Rays schedule

by Aaron Giddens

Early last week, the Rays 2013 schedule was released. It's preliminary schedule, so things could change, but let's take a look at what we have for now.

Here are some of the things I noticed:

Sep 13, 2012

Time is of the essence, guys!

by Aaron Giddens

Rich Thompson caught in a rundown.
Rich Thompson caught in a rundown.
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Well, another night, another one run loss. I'm sorry, I can't take much more of this. A couple weeks ago I thought our offensive woes were over, the lineup was producing the way it should have been all along and I thought it was inevitable that we'd catch both the Orioles and Yankees and pass them. And then the offense disappeared again. And while I'm trying to stay positive especially because it's still mid-September and there's just under 3 weeks left to play. My patience is running thin.

Sure, last night's loss was only one game, but that's now two games of an incredibly important 3-game series that's been lost. Albeit this isn't your Uncle's Orioles. This year they're actually good, but every time they beat us, especially like tonight, we're one game closer to being eliminated from playoff contention. As we sit now the team is 3 back of both the Yankees and O's for both the wild card and the division lead.

The Rays are in quite a spot.

Aug 28, 2012

MLB reaches broadcast rights extentsion with ESPN

by Aaron Giddens


BSPN - The World Wide Leader in Biased Sports Coverage
Well I hope you were looking forward to no more baseball on ESPN because MLB has reached an agreement with ESPN extending their broadcast rights through 2021. In the deal, which takes effect in 2014, playoff baseball will return to ESPN as they will alternate broadcasting the league wild card round of the playoffs with presumably MLB Network which apparently is airing both this year. Also starting in 2014, ESPN will have the rights to all potential regular season tiebreaker games. The full story with all the details of the deal can be read here at MLB.com.

Uh, waiter, better make that a double.

Do we really have to put up with their blatant north-east U.S. favoritism for another 9 years, at least?! Geez.

Aug 21, 2012

FUNNY: Joe gets pied on MLB Network

by Aaron Giddens

So I was watching The Rundown on MLB Network earlier and while he was talking about Jim Hickey's good job as pitching coach, this happened:



Oh thank you, Joel, for giving us a clip to use for a lifetime over Joe.

Aug 20, 2012

The offense has arrived, just in time

by Aaron Giddens

Pena crushes a ball to right field during the 8th inning of Saturday's game.
Pena crushes a ball to right field
during the 8th inning of Saturday's game.
Courtesy: LA Times
Do you remember earlier this season when I complained about Derek Shelton's job as hitting coach and the anemic office? I said "[t]his team went from an offensive juggernaut in April to an offensive laughing stock here in early June." Well here we are in mid-August and it's back to an offensive juggernaut. Who would have thought that all this team needed was their third basemen back, even if it was just as a DH.

This team has really ramped up it's play here in the second half of the season. This team couldn't buy a win after May 1st and now suddenly their opponents can't buy a win. I love it.

This is what I was talking about Wednesday after the game. Derek Shelton's job is really a mystery to me. The offensive is so bipolar I don't know which side anymore is the "real" Rays. I would love to think it's this side. The side that scores runs like crazy and punish good pitchers like Jared Weaver and cash in when teams make mistakes. When a team does this they can do something special.

Aug 17, 2012

One step forward, two steps back

by Aaron Giddens


View Larger Map
Gateway area
Courtesy: Google Maps
Well the latest chapter in the Rays stadium saga has taken an amazingly bad turn. St. Pete agreed to discuss with CityScape, LLC about their proposal - providing the Rays stay in the dark.

The decision came down from city hall yesterday. St. Pete will hear CityScape's proposal but the company is not to talk to the Rays. Why you ask? Because the city fears that by allowing CityScape to do so "that [it] might allow the Rays to claim that the council had waived its exclusivity agreement, which currently restricts the team from dealing with any entity other than the city." said the Tampa Bay Times article on the subject which can be read here.

Aug 15, 2012

Rays perfect game'd, again

by Aaron Giddens

Felix Hernandez
Hernandez is doused with sports drinks
after throwing perfect-o.
Courtesy:Getty Images via Bleacher Report
I recently made a vow to try and get back to my positive self about the Rays, but there is nothing positive for the Rays about what happened today. Ok, you might be able to get away that Felix is actually a good pitcher but that's about it.

In case you've been under a rock today, which you should count your blessings if you were, "King" Felix Hernandez threw a perfect game in today's 1-0 loss to the Mariners. Seattle is celebrating, the Rays are facepalming. This marks the third time in four years the Rays have been perfect-o'd. Only the Dodgers have as many perfect games against them, however it took 35 years to accumulate those.

No matter how you spin this, this is bad for the Rays. Sure it's only one loss, but it's a humiliating and demoralizing loss. The Rays were set down in order for the 3rd time in 4 years.

Aug 6, 2012

Rays to activate Longoria from DL Tuesday

by Aaron Giddens

Evan Longoria
Longoria had a .329 BA and 4 HRs before his injury on
May 1st. He's bee out since.
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
It's official! Rays have announced that they will activate Evan Longoria from the disabled list tomorrow for the game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Rays have optioned Will Rhymes to Durham in advance of the move. The move is reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times on Twitter.

Aug 5, 2012

The Playoffs begin now for Rays

by Aaron Giddens

Jose Lobaton
We need more chocolate ice cream celebrations
like Lobaton got in Baltimore last week.
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Rays fans have become accustomed to come from behind improbable runs to and in the playoffs since 2008. And to do so this year, the Rays will have to do it again. Like last year the Rays have themselves in a bind. Sure, they're only 2 GB in the Wild Card standings (7.5 GB of the first place Yankees), but the Wild Card scene is really...compact right now. Five teams within 6 games of the Wild Card leading A's and Tigers.

What this means is that the Rays playoffs, similar to last year, begin early again. With so many teams vying for the Wild Card spots, teams are gonna need every win they can get to get one. And don't forget that even though I'm talking Wild Card, a division title is still not out of the question. All it really takes is for the Rays to go on a really hot streak, like a 20-2 streak and a cog to fall of the well oiled Yankees machine and the Rays (and possible the O's too) can get right back in the division title hunt.

Aug 3, 2012

GAME REVIEW: Night of the Upton brothers

by Aaron Giddens



123456789
RHE
BAL

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

0
8
0

TB
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
x

2
6
0

Click here for expanded Box Score.


BJ and Justin Upton
BJ and Justin Upton
Courtesy: AP via NBC Sports
Good evening, Rays fans. It's been since May since we had a game review here on BRaysball Talk. But tonight's the night we have another. Rays are coming off a hot 6-3 road trip with included a 6-game swing out west and come home on a 2-game winning streak. The pitching's been hot. So has the offense. They need to keep it up. Rays have been looking more like a play off team. Can they keep it up against the Orioles tonight? Rays will send Matt Moore to the mound to find out. Orioles counter with Tommy Hunter. It's a battle for second place in the AL East on this Friday night! Time for baseball!

Moore will face Nick Markakis to lead off the game. Markakis is first pitch swinging and has a bloop hit to left field. JJ Hardy is next, he flies out to Matt Joyce in right next to the foul line in fair territory. Adam Jones is next, he grounds one through the middle for a base hit and the O's have two on and 1 out. Matt Wieters will try to drive them in, however, he strikes out swinging on a 94 MPH fastball from Moore. Chris Davis will stand in now, and draws a full count walk to load the bases with 2 out. Mark Reynolds will try to drive a run in now for the O's. He takes strike three and the O's leave them loaded. Moore threw 25 pitches in the first. For the bottom half of the inning, Jennings leads it off for the Rays against Tommy Hunter. DJ strikes out looking on four pitches. BJ is next, he strikes out looking as well on four pitches. Joyce will step in with the bases empty and 2 out. Joyce hits it over the shift in to right, and the birthday boy has a single. Zobrist is next. Joyce takes off for second but it's moot as Zobrist flies out to Jones in center to end the inning. No score after one inning.

Keppinger injures foot, returns for next AB (UPDATED)

by Aaron Giddens

Jeff Keppinger, who has been the Rays most consistent hitter, has apparently left the game tonight after his spikes caught on the dirt while sliding in to second during the 5-6-3 double play to end the 2nd. He walked off gingerly carefully not putting any weight on it. Stay with us for updates.

[UPDATE, 8:27pm]: Keppinger stays in the game and bats in the fourth inning. He flies out to Jones in center. Still waiting on official word from the Rays on what happened in the training room. We'll let you know when we find out.

[UPDATE, 10:20pm]: Maddon says in his post game press conference that Kepp is fine, will be a little sore, but should be playing through it.

Jul 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to us!

by Aaron Giddens

Happy Birthday!
One year (and four days) ago, BRaysball Talk posted it's first article, and our first game review, and our website was born. Since then we've seen our viewership steadily grow. We want to thank you for reading us for the past year and hope for many more years covering our Rays. Be sure to tell your friends. This week into this weekend I have planned to overhaul the look of the site in celebration and debut the result of "Portrait of a Rays Fan". So be sure to check back! GO RAYS!

By the way, where's the cake?

Jul 17, 2012

Joyce activated, in lineup; Rhymes optioned

by Aaron Giddens

Help may be on the way to Tampa Bay. Matt Joyce, who has been out since mid-June with oblique and back strains, was activated off the 15-day DL and was placed fourth in the line up and is in right field for tonight's game against the Indians.

While this news is good, it's not all good. Fan favorite Will Rhymes was optioned to Durham to make room on the 25-man roster for Joyce. many fans that I have been reading on Twitter don't like this move, instead calling for the option or outright release of Hideki Matsui. I would be inclined to agree.

A DH hitting .160 isn't worth the roster spot.

Jul 16, 2012

Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman's hearts remain in St. Pete

by Aaron Giddens

Damon and Kotch
Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Despite with the Indians this offseason and early April, Casey Kotchman and Johnny Damon miss their Tampa Bay home.

"I miss not being here everyday," Damon said. "I'm not going to sugar coat it at all." And why should he? We all know most players love playing here. But for Damon, it's extra special being a Orlando native in the twilight of his career.

Damon again told reporters that he hoped to return to Tampa Bay. "Everyone expected me back." Obviously it didn't work out that way.

Jul 4, 2012

81 down, 81 to go in 2012

by Aaron Giddens

Happy Independence Day, Rays fans. On our nations 236th birthday, we get ready to start the second half of the 2012 season. How has the season gone so far. We have had highs and lows. Though the lows, by far, out numbered the highs in the second quarter of the season.

The Rays hitting has been the talk of the town the past few weeks and not for positive reasons. I maintain the personal opinion that Derek Shelton needs to go. The data does not speak positive of him as hitting coach for the Rays who were recently swept by the Royals of all teams. Now don't get me wrong, the Rays have had a few games where the offense looks really good but they're not happen often enough to remain competitive in the tough American League East.

It's a cause for concern that can't be ignored. I think getting a replacement for Shelton would be the solution. Others don't want to put the blame on Shelton. They have the right to that opinion as I have to mine. However, I disagree.

The pitching has looked well. Fernando and David are 2012 all-stars. While we have not seen the same James Shields thus far this season (he had 6 CGs at this point last season, none yet this year.) The bullpen has looked great after getting off to a rough start in April.

So what has to be done for the Rays to make the playoffs in the second half of the season? Simple: Hitting. If the offense can start producing consistently then this team will be playoffbound. But if there's no hitting, there will be no play offs. That's it. No tricks. No miracles. Hitting will get this team in the playoffs.

So here we go, 2nd half of the season. Ding ding! The fight for the playoffs gets tough, now. Go Rays!

Jun 30, 2012

Hellickson leaves game

by Aaron Giddens

The injury bug continues to plague the Rays. Hellickson, who is fresh of the DL, was struck by a line drive off the bat of Fielder on the right shin. Hellickson was look at by the trainers but it was ultimately decided to play it safe and Hellickson was taken out of the game after 2.2 IP and 40 pitches thrown. J.P. Howell replaced him.

Not good news for the already ailing Rays.

[UPDATE, 8:35pm ET]: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that X-Rays were negative on Helly's shin. It's been diagnosed as a bruise.

This would be the best case scenario right now. We'll see how he handles his next start Thursday on the road in Cleveland.

Jun 23, 2012

A Kalas broadcaster is back in Philly for the weekend

by Aaron Giddens

As most know, Todd Kalas is the son of the late long time Phillies play-by-play man Harry Kalas. I took a moment to ask Todd on Twitter what it was like being back in Philly. This is what he said.




I hope he's having fun being in Philly like he said. He's a great man, like his father. May Harry Kalas rest in peace.

Jun 22, 2012

Thank God that nightmare is over! Hopefully...

by Aaron Giddens

Pine-Tar-Gate
Pine-Tar-Gate — Courtesy: Getty Images via SI.com
The fun stop in DC is over. Thank God. First I got to give credit where credit is due. The offense in the first game while a little spotty was exactly what I was looking for. We put up enough runs to hit that magical five run mark. The starting pitching was also good through the series, save for the first inning of game two of the series but as far as I'm concerned, that inning is irrelevant. The bullpen was also pretty good in the first two games. But that's where that flattery ends.

This was a awfully played series and a nightmare. Defensive errors nearly hand away the first game and they do hand away the latter two games. The offensive slump returned with a vengeance. Timely hitting, what's that? Yes, the two hot hitters remained hot and Pena emerged a little more but three hitters alone will not win you games.

Jun 19, 2012

Getting sick of the stalemate, get on with it already!

by Aaron Giddens

A dark cloud over the Trop
A dark cloud over the Trop.
Courtesy: southeastroads.com
This is one of my most talked about subjects, but Rays fans should see why. And that is I don't want to lose the team.

Anyway, after a short flurry of news on the new stadium front a few weeks ago with the proposition of swapping the cruise industry in Tampa for the Rays in St. Pete it's been quiet. Again. I personally am sick of the stalemate that's been induced by Mayor Foster. How many times must people say it before he gets it?

Either work with the team, or lose them. It's really quite simple so it's amazing how he doesn't appear to get it.

What is it gonna take for the Rays and local governments to actually sit down and freaking work this problem out? How much more posturing by Foster do we have to put up with? How much longer must we live with the dark cloud over the future of this team?

The fans don't deserve this and neither does the team. There's only so much effort you can put in to an uncertain future. I don't know a true fan that wants to see this team leave. But you wouldn't know it with the stalemate.

Jun 10, 2012

FUNNY GIF: The Austin Kearns Crawl

by Aaron Giddens


Thanks to Cork Gaines of Rays Index. Austin Kearns' "panic crawl" to try and get Jennings out at first is immortalized. Watch and laugh.

The Austin Kearns Crawl


Wait, it's missing something....

OH! I know!



Now watch and laugh with me.

Jun 6, 2012

Oh, offense, where for art thou?

by Aaron Giddens

Luke Scott after striking out against White Sox
Luke Scott after striking out against White Sox
Courtesy: Tampa Bay Times
What has happened to this team? This team went from an offensive juggernaut in April to an offensive laughing stock here in early June. Sure injuries are playing a part, especially with Longo missing, but Longo missing alone is not the whole problem. What is? I don't know, I'm just sick of putting all the blame of this team's offensive woes solely on the absence of Longo.

Where would I like to place the blame? I place it in various places but I place the main blame on the shoulders of Derek Shelton. As far as I can remember, ever since he's shown up the team's offensive has seen a lot of outages and prolonged ones at that. Remember Pat Burrell? He was a great hitter in Philly. He came to us in 2009, Shelton's first year, and Burrell's hitting just collapsed. When Burrell was released after being placed on waivers and then signed by the Giants, he went back to his old self.

May 31, 2012

Thrifty Baseball aka the Rays Way!

by @MandaGator

The Trop's dome
The Trop's dome — Courtesy: Flickr
It's no secret that the entire MLB world is constantly in awe at the caliber of team the Tampa Bay Rays put together each season on a shoe string budget. Stuart Sternberg, Andrew Friedman and other magicians in the front office wave their wands year round and put together a team who opponents fear for six months on a fraction of the payroll their large market competitors can indulge. Perhaps this extraordinary ability stems from having lived in notoriously expensive New York City, perhaps it's years of studying finance, maybe it's a gift from the baseball Gods. We are fortunate in that the Rays offer their fans the same opportunity for "Thrifty Baseball" as we make our way to The Trop to behold domed, dry, 72°F glorious Rays baseball. Today's focus is on those evil necessities, parking and satisfying your appetite!!

It falls on you to find the cheapest gas to get to downtown St Petersburg but once in the area you can park conveniently in the Rays official lots for $15~$25 (depending on the the game's rating). In fact you can get a pre-paid parking pass and not even lose a/c by cracking your vehicle window. Lot 7 is easiest for highway access, Lot 6 is closest to Fergs Sports Bar & Grill, great for pre and post game food, drinks, music & general merriment with like minded Rays fans and the occasional enemy fan sent on an espionage mission.

May 26, 2012

Luke Scott beaned, should the Rays retaliate?

by Aaron Giddens

Scott held off by Saltalamacchia
Scott held off by Saltalamacchia
Courtesy: NBCSports.com
As we all probably know by know, Franklin Morales intentionally beaned Luke Scott in last night's 7-4 win over the Red Sox at Fenway. Whether it was retaliation for Scott's comments about Fenway or the Red Sox Nation, or other players getting beaned previously last year. What ever the reason might be, it happened.

My first instinct is to call for retaliation and bean Big Papi or Pedroia. That is my first instinct. However I think it's better we just live with the psychological games Maddon has probably initiated. Not only will that scare them out of their game but it will also save our players.

Face it, we can't avoid to lose a player from any position to suspension and/or the DL. We already have 10 there and we're on the verge of getting a few back. We're having a hard enough time winning right now without losing one of our pitchers.

May 21, 2012

GAME REVIEW: The Trop claims another victim

by Aaron Giddens



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The Catwalks
The Catwalks, "C" and "D" rings
Courtesy: Sun Sports via @CorkGaines
Monday night, time for baseball. The Rays are coming off another series loss against the Braves in interleague play, losing yesterday 2-0. Rays welcome in to town the Blue Jays. We just saw them last week when the Rays swept a two game set in Toronto, this is the first time this season the Jays have been in town. Rays send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound who looks to remain perfect on the season. Jays counter with Kyle Drabek. Rays have been struggling offenseively sorely missing the bats of Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings. Can they get the job done tonight? Let's find out.

Kelly Johnson leads off the game by grounding out to Elliot Johnson at shortstop. Escobar follows and grounds out to Rodriguez at third. Bautista bats third to start the game, he chops out S-Rod and the Jays go 1-2-3. BenZo leads off the first for the Rays offensively. He grounds out to second. BJ is next, he hits it a long way to center it falls suddenly in center, BJ arrives at second and starts claiming HR off the ring, umps confer and decide to go review it. 3 minutes later, Joe West signals a home run. Rays strike first. Matt Joyce is next he walks. Carlos is next and he flies out to the left fielder in center on the first pitch for the second out. Luke Scott is next, he hits hit to first who makes a diving grab but the toss to the pitcher can't be handled and Scott is safe. Ruled an error on the pitcher. S-Rod is next, he strikes out looking to end the inning.

May 16, 2012

Will Rhymes hit by pitch, later collapses

by Aaron Giddens

During the bottom of the 8th of tonight's Rays game with the Red Sox, Will Rhymes took a ball to his forearm and it sounded like a bat breaking. Obviously, Will was in a lot of pain as the trainer and Joe looked him over and it was ultimately decided that Will would try to stay in, after that a pitching change took place for the Sox. When we come back from commercial, Will motioned towards the dugout he's done. He then passes out with George Hendrick catching him. Will eventually regained consciousness enough to get on to the golf cart and be carted out. Updates will follow on his condition. In the mean time, here's video of the incident.



Someone needs to pay. Not necessarily by being hit by a pitch but definitely the Red Sox deserve to lose every game remaining with us this season. Intentional HBP or not.

[UPDATE, 11:18pm]: Marc Topkin reports that X-Ray's were negative for any breaks or fractures. Just a horrible bruise. Certainly good news. Also, Joe Maddon said in his post-game interview that the cause of the faint is assumed to be an adrenaline rush caused by temporary lack of blood flow to the head. Will is considered day-to-day.

May 14, 2012

MLB fires arbitrator who overturned Ryan Braun's suspension

by Aaron Giddens


Ryan Braun — Courtesy: Steve Paluch
The saga is back ladies and gents. Just when we thought the Ryan Braun's suspension story was over it takes another turn. As we all (should) know by now, Ryan Braun tested positive for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), he denied it, filed an appeal, and won the appeal on a technicality.

Well now the story has taken a fishy turn. MLB has fired the neutral arbitrator that overturned his suspension.

I don't know about you, but to me, this lessened the legitimacy of the policy to me. To me is reads "If a play tests positive don't you frigging dare overturn it, you will be fired."

It also seems like MLB is more interested in firing the arbitrator rather than firing the man responsible for the technicality overturning and making sure it won't happen again.

In short, this seems like the worst possible move by MLB. Nice work, MLB. *facepalm*

May 8, 2012

Pena takes strike three to end game...or does he?

by Aaron Giddens

As much as the umpires make me mad at times, I don't like to dedicate time to their stupidity often, but I feel this warrants it. The Rays lost to the Yankees tonight 5-3 dropping their third straight. There was rain, mud, long balls and more, but what interests me though is the strike zone. In particular the strike zone used to get the the final out of the night against Carlos Pena.

May 6, 2012

Why did we lose this series with Oakland? It's simple...

by Aaron Giddens

Will Rhymes fails to field a ball at third Friday night
Will Rhymes fails to field a ball at third Friday night.
Courtesy: Chris O'Meara/AP
Why did we lose this series with Oakland? It's really simple, cold bats mean no runs. And horrible pitching means an insurmountable lead to overcome with cold bats. In particular starting pitching.

Yes, David Price turned out an absolute gem Friday night in the first game of the series. However it was down hill from there in the series. The last two starters in the series, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore, went a combined 8.1 IP (3.2 IP and 4.2 IP respectively). Hellboy threw 28 pitches in the first inning alone of his start, 9 of those to Reddick who ended up homering. Moore, however, started strong and just collapsed.

May 4, 2012

GAME REVIEW: The night of the hot one and two spots

by Aaron Giddens



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BJ Upton
BJ Upton — Courtesy: Sun Sports
TGIF! It's time for another Friday Fest at the Trop. Tonight the Rays are taking on the Oakland Athletics. Rays are fresh off their four game sweep of the Seattle Mariners and on a 9-game home winning streak. Rays send David Price to the mound trying to keep the home winning streak alive. Oakland will counter with Tyson Ross. Let's play ball!

David Price starts out the game with a strike out looking of Jemile Weeks and a strike out swinging of Cliff Pennington. Josh Reddick grounds out to end the top of the first. A's go 1-2-3. Desmond is first pitch swinging to lead off the bottom half of the inning and has a single to center. After BJ lines out to third and Pena pops out, Matt Joyce is "hit" by the pitch (it hit his jersey), putting runners on second and first with 2 outs. They would be stranded though as Scott lines out to left.

May 2, 2012

BJ Upton leaves game

by Aaron Giddens

BJ Upton has left tonight's game with the Mariners between the 5th and 6th innings. Todd Kalas says it's reported to be quad tightness.

We can't lose both him and Longo, we can't.

May 1, 2012

Longoria leaves Monday's game [UPDATED]

by Aaron Giddens

[Original story]: Evan Longoria left Monday night's 3-2 extra inning win over the Mariners in the 3rd inning with knee soreness. Joe Maddon said after the game that he will get an MRI tomorrow but for now is day-to-day. Carlos Pena said he's positive about good news tomorrow.

I looked at the video of Longo walking off the field after the point of injury, I saw a very slight limp so it might not be anything serious. The word is that Longo took himself out of the game.

This is has the potential to be a devastating blow to the Rays for this season. We need Longo 100%. I will be praying all night that Evan's MRI is negative for any major damage and is just tweaked and he's back by not this weekend but next weekend in Baltimore.

[UPDATE, 6:31pm Tuesday]: Tampa Bay Times is now reporting that Longo has suffered a partial tear of his left hamstring and will be put on the shelf for 6-8 weeks. Andrew Friedman says that best case scenario is that Longo is healed in 4 weeks and returns after two weeks of rehab.

While this is not the worst case scenario, this is still pretty bad. Hurry back, Longo!

[UPDATE, 6:48pm Tuesday]: 620 WDAE says now on twitter that Longo has been placed on the 15-day DL and that IF Will Rhymes has been recalled from Durham to take his place. Kyle Farnsworth was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL presumably to make room for Rhymes on the 40 man roster.

Apr 27, 2012

GAME REVIEW: Slugfest in Arlington

by Aaron Giddens



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Longo hits one out
Longo hits one out — Courtesy: Sun Sports
TGIF! It's time to celebrate the arrival of the weekend with a little Rays baseball. The Rays are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area tonight to face off with the red hot Rangers. Tonight is a rematch of one the ALDS the past two years. Rays will send "Complete Game" James Shields to the mound and the Rangers will counter with Matt Harrison. Tonight will be another early challenge for our Rays. How will they do? Let's find out. Play ball!

Jennings is first pitch swinging to lead off the game and leads off with a single. Pena then reaches on an error by Rangers' 2B Ian Kinsler. Longo follows by teeing off to dead center for a home run to put the Rays up early, all before an out is made. Zobrist then walks and Keppinger singles. Harrison who has been dominate early this season isn't fooling anyone tonight. Upton follow with a line drive single to left, scoring Zobrist. Sean Rodriguez then bunts, Harrison picked up the ball and threw to third to force Keppinger for the first out. Geminez flies out to left and Upton tagged up and gambled and tried to take third but was easily thrown out for the double play and that ends the inning.

ESPN's Schoenfield takes notice of Rays bats

by Aaron Giddens

Rays walk it off
Rays walk it off — Courtesy: DRaysBay
In his latest blog on ESPN.com, David Schoenfield takes a look at the Rays offense and how it's surprising many so far. The bulk of the article focuses on Allen's walk off heroics yesterday against the Angels, but it also touches on the rest of the offense.

Apr 24, 2012

GAME REVIEW: All hail, King David!

by Aaron Giddens



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David Price
David Price — Courtesy: Getty Images via Zimbio
Tuesday night! It's time for baseball. Tonight the Rays welcome the Albert Pujols and the Angels to the Trop for the second and last series of this homestand. Rays send David Price to the mound who will be continuing to look for his 2010 self. Angels will counter with Ervin Santana. It's time for Rays baseball, here we go!

Evan Longoria is....Sparticus?

by Aaron Giddens

I've never heard of Halloween in April before today however, now I'm laughing my butt off. Evan and his girlfriend hosted a Halloween in April party last night and shared the following picture:

Longo is Sparticus


O...K. Next game please.

Apr 23, 2012

Rays 'expected' to sign Hideki Matsui

by Aaron Giddens

Hideki Matsui
Hieki Matsui — Courtesy: Flickr
The big news of the day for the Rays appears that the Rays are expected to sign former Yankees and A's DH "Godzilla" Hideki Matsui to a minor league contract.

I'm quite confused at the moment, I thought Luke Scott was our DH and if Hideki is being signed for depth at the DH position why not just resign Damon who wanted to come back in the first place?

Very confused. Here's hoping we hear some answers shortly.

Apr 22, 2012

Fan interferes with fly ball, apparently ejected [UPDATED]

by Aaron Giddens

[Update, 9:50pm]: Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports via Twitter that the fan, now identified as former NBA center Matt Geiger, was not ejected but relocated. Still don't agree, he was fine.

The moment of Interference
The moment of Interference. — Courtesy: Sun Sports via @CorkGaines
[Original story]: During today's 6-2 win over the Twins, it was in the top of the 8th and a fan interfered with a foul ball that Carlos Pena was attempting to catch. He was rightly met with boos from the crowd after words and then when he was (apparently) ejected, the crowd cheered.

I disagree with his ejection if that's what happened. The ball was out of the field of play as Rays Radio's Dave Wills points out. The ball was fair game.

Apr 21, 2012

GAME REVIEW: BJ Upton, our hero

by Aaron Giddens



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BJ celebrating
BJ Upton celebrating in the 6th. — Courtesy: Sun Sports via @CorkGaines
Good evening, Rays fans. After the excitement of this afternoon, the Rays take on the Twins in game 2 of 3 at the Trop. James Shields is on the mound and he is opposed by Carl Pavano. Here we go.

FUNNY: Todd Kalas being Todd Kalas

by Aaron Giddens
So, during Friday night's game Todd Kalas got in to the Rays touch take at the Trop for an interview with one of the handlers, and I mean IN the Rays tank. After the interview completed, good ol' Todd did this:


Todd being Todd


Congratulations, Todd, you're a prankster, and it's funny as heck. Keep it up, Todd.

Apr 17, 2012

GAME REVIEW: The quest for offense hits Toronto

by Aaron Giddens



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The story of the night - Leaving runners
The story of the night: Leaving runners.
Courtesy: Sun Sports via @CorkGaines
Good evening, Rays fans. It's Tuesday night and time to start a new week of game reviews and a new series. Tonight, the boys from St. Pete are in Toronto, Ontario, Canada facing the Blue Jays. After a anemic offensive series in Boston, the Rays will be looking to get their bats flying with fury tonight. On the mound is Jeff Neimann his Blue Jays counter part in Ricky Romero. So settle in, it should be a good game and here's your game review.

Bad strike zone irks national media, for once

by Aaron Giddens

The final strike
The final strike of yesterday's game.
Courtesy: Rays Index
The Rays are often on the bad end of it. The horribly elastic strike zones. The ones that give favorable calls to the opposing team, usually the Red Sox or Yankees. But yesterday, the Rays found themselves on the "good" side of a bad strike zone and the bad calls went their way for once. And it didn't please the national sports media.

No, the national media was in an outrage over the Cody Ross at-bat that ended the game yesterday. Was it a horrible strike zone? Absolutely. But that's not the point. The point is that the horrible strike zones are hardly ever, if ever, mentioned by the sports media when it goes the Red Sox way.

Apr 14, 2012

The Rays are hurting

by Aaron Giddens

Joe Maddon showing frustration
Joe Maddon showing frustration — Courtesy: @CorkGaines
So far this season, we've had 8 games and 5 of them on the road. At home, we're 3-0. However, on the road we're 1-4. The one win being a miracle come from behind victory against Verlander and the Tigers.

This team is in trouble right now. The bullpen can't get an out to save their lives. The offense starts out promising in the first couple of innings only to go cold and never score another run. The defense isn't good either, to many botched defensive plays this team almost always makes. And probably most scary is the DEEP rotation isn't doing to hot either.

Apr 12, 2012

SERIES RECAP: Cold offense buries Rays

by Aaron Giddens

Jose Molina confers with Matt Moore on Wednesday
Jose Molina confers with Matt Moore on Wednesday — Courtesy: CBS Tampa
Well that was a telling series. This series proves to us our offensive problems with runners in scoring position is continuing. While I'm not sounding the alarm, it is alarming for a team looking to win a championship and predicted by many to do so.

Apr 9, 2012

RAYS HISTORY: One year ago, ManRam retired

by Aaron Giddens

Manny Ramirez before the temporary retirement
ManRam before the temporary retirement. — Courtesy: NBC Sports
It's now been 367 days (one extra for the leap year and one for me being one day late on the exact date) since Manny Ramirez shocked the Rays Republic when he failed a drug test and immediately retired to avoid the consequences. This left the Rays in a spot where they had to plug Johnny Damon in to the DH role that Manny was supposed to hold down.

One year later, I'm still confused and angry that Manny blew it again. That betrayal feeling is horrible. What angers me however is that he then UN-retired and is now an Oakland Athletic and serving his (reduced) suspension.

Is there no justice?

SERIES RECAP: How's that winless start taste, Yankees?

by Aaron Giddens

Hellboy is greeted by Shields and the gang
Hellickson is greeted by Shields and the team.
Courtesy: AP/Brian Blanco
We wake up this morning to the sound of Rays fans still cheering about the Easter present of the "Yankees Stomp". That's right, in our opening series we swept the Yankees. (Box Scores below.)

Our opening series this season just filled this Rays fan with confidence for the year. It doesn't hurt that BOTH the Yankees and the Red Sox are 0-3 to start their season, the second time this has ever happened and the first since 1966. What were you doing in 1966? Personally, I was a twinkle in my Mom's eye. That season the Red Sox and Yankees finished 9th and 10th respectively. Is history about to repeat?

Apr 7, 2012

GAME REVIEW: Identity crisis

by Aaron Giddens



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The Ray-Yankee Fan
The Ray-Yankee Fan — Courtesy: SunSports via @CorkGaines
Good evening, Rays fans. It's Day 2! After yesterday's amazing walk off courtesy of Carlos Pena, the Rays go for their sixth straight win over the AL East rivals, the Yankees. David Price was on the mound these evening for the Rays. Did he do better than James Shields yesterday? Let's jump in to the "Star Digest".

Apr 6, 2012

GAME REVIEW: Play Ball!!

by Aaron Giddens



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Curtain Call by Pena
Curtain Call by Pena — Courtesy: Sun Sports
Good Afternoon, Rays fans. It's finally happened: the first game that counts of 2012. Along with today we are debuting our new game review format. I've named it the "Star Digest". In the Star Digest, I break down each general position and tell you how I think it performed on a given day and rate it on a five star system (five obviously being the best, and 1 being the worst). With that let's break down today's game against the Yanks.

PIC: Topicana Field

by Aaron Giddens

We're a little less than 2 hours from first pitch, and @RaysAddiction tweeted this picture from outside the Trop. I love it. Baseball is back and the Trop looks good. Looks like I see some tailgating in the background.

The Trop

It's time....

by Aaron Giddens


"Take Me Out to the Ballgame!" (Rock version)
It's been a around 15,984,000 seconds since the Rays last took the field at Tropicana Field. In that time, we've lost players and gained new ones. We've reminisced constantly about "Game 162". We've watched our Bucs stink up the joint. We've also watched our Lighting fail to capitalize on last years momentum. But finally, after 185 days, it's time to play ball again!

The bats are ready and at the moment warm. "Complete Game" James is ready. The Hot Dogs are ready to be put on the grill. Tail gating is ready to get underway.

Today starts a fight, a 162 game fight, for October. This years Rays are primed for greatness. With our catching problem addressed (though some will still say it's unsolved) and Pena back. A new DH. A young, early Rookie of the Year favorite.

The paint on the turf is still drying. But it's time to play ball.

What can we expect from the boys in blue this year? I personally have doubts of a consistently good offense. However, don't this fact tarnish this team. They are still very good.

So suit up, boys! There's a Commissioner's Trophy to bring to sunny Tampa Bay.

PLAY BALL!!!

Mar 30, 2012

FUNNY: A's Commercial

by Aaron Giddens

As you probably know by now, we like to look at the funny side of baseball every now and then, which brings us to this A's commercial. Any Rays fan worth at least their weight in Rays fandom knows who Dallas Braden is, for those that don't, he's the starting pitcher for the A's who threw a perfect game against the Rays on Mother's Day 2010 in Oakland.

Well he's in the latest A's commercial promoting the upcoming season. So is A's legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers. The two get together in this commercial and it comedy magic. Enjoy!

Mar 28, 2012

NEWS CAP: HAPPY OPENING DAY!!!! Sort of....

by Aaron Giddens

Jeff Neimann
Jeff Neimann — Courtesy: Tampa Bay Times
Good Wednesday morning, Rays fans. Here's today's news cap:


  • Today is Opening Day for the 2012 MLB season. Though the Rays don't start the season til April 6th, the Mariners and A's, however, start their 2012 campaign today. They start a 2-game series against one another this morning, yes this morning. Did I mention that the series will take place in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan? Cause it is. They will play these two regular seasons games then return to Spring Training games for two days before resuming their 2012 campaign. The first game started this morning at 6:10am ET. Today's game will air on delay on MLB Network at 9am. Tomorrow's game will take place at 5:10am ET. This game will again air on delay on MLB Network at 9am. [MLB]

  • Who's the winner of the Dodgers Sweepstakes? Why no one other than Magic Johnson. He's bought the team for a cool $2 billion. Yes that's "billion" with a "b". Making the most expensive sports purchase in the history of sports. [ESPN]

Mar 24, 2012

Ryan Madson out for season

by Aaron Giddens

Remember back at the beginning of January we wrote that we'd like to see Ryan Madson in a Rays uni for 2012.

He was eventually signed by the Reds to a one year $8.5 million contract.

Well that money has gone to waste for the Reds as Madson has suffered a season ending injury to his elbow that will require Tommy John surgery before the season ever started.

The Friedman and his smarts strike again.

Mar 22, 2012

Aaron's 2012 MLB predictions

by Aaron Giddens

With the season two weeks away, it's time for me to make my predictions for 2012.

Mar 20, 2012

Rays offense could sink 2012 Rays

by Aaron Giddens

Carlos Pena strikes out
Carlos Pena strikes out — Courtesy: Tampa Bay Times
Doesn't that headline scare you? It should. The Rays main problem last year was lack of offense. Sure they went on a stretch where anytime they breached the five run plateau they would win but it should worry you.

We're now a few weeks in to spring training and about 2 weeks from the regular season getting started and the Rays sit at 5-10. The Rays offense has been atrocious this spring. I said it a lot last year and this offseason, mainly on twitter, that we needed a new hitting coach. Derek Shelton ain't cutting it. And my worries seem to be continuing to be a real life nightmare.

Mar 19, 2012

Over before it began??

by @MandaGator

Amanda and Shopp
Amanda and Shopp
The highly anticipated 2012 MLB spring training season is in full swing all over Florida and Arizona. But Grapefruit League baseball means something special to fans of the Tampa Bay Rays who happen to live in Florida. March affords us the ability to see the boys under a bright sunny sky at a comfortable (to most) 80°F as opposed to the domed glory & chilled air of the Trop. If we so desire and funds permit, we can drive a couple hours to see them ready for the 2012 World Championship race in stadiums all over our beautiful state. Thus far this spring, I have managed to eek out 3 spring training games, each is a tale unto it's self so I'll give the abridged version and in the end y'all decide... is the Rays season over for me before it's begun??

Mar 13, 2012

MLB won't expand replay for 2012

by Aaron Giddens

Before we go any further, I'd like to point out that this is the 100th post on the site, thanks for reading.

Now to business: We wrote last season about how MLB fans deserve the right call and lobbied for expanded replay. Well the decision came down today that there won't be any replay expansion for this season. Which I call a pity.

MLB fans, like I said, deserve the right call, this game is being played in the 21st century, there's no reason not to have it. Even baseball purists know deep down this would be a better game with expanded replay, even if they won't admit it.

Just get it done for 2013.

Mar 9, 2012

Why I'm a Rays fan

by Aaron Giddens

Cowbell Kid
Cowbell Kid — Courtesy: The Serious Tip
Why am I a Rays fan? People sometimes wonder why I can cheer for such a low payroll team who's never won anything when I could be cheering for say the Yankees. There are a variety of reasons I am a Rays fan, but there is one particular reason I am: the atmosphere this team generates.

Mar 7, 2012

VIDEO: Pena talks about his first game back

by Aaron Giddens

Yesterday, Carlos Pena had his first game back in a Rays uniform. After the game, he spoke with the media about how his day went, both on the field and the warm reception he got from the fans. Video comes to us from the Tampa Bay Times.

Mar 6, 2012

GAME REVIEW: First Televised game of 2012

by Aaron Giddens



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Happy Baseball, Rays fans! Today is the first televised game of 2012. And thus, the first game review of 2012. For today we will use the 2011 formula for these things. The new formula will debut on opening day! Jeff Neimann is on the mound today, how did he do? Did the Rays get their first win of the Spring? Lets go!

Mar 2, 2012

ESPN uses picture of Rays as cover picture for expanded playoff story

by Aaron Giddens

It was announced earlier today by Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig that the 2012 postseason will feature a second wildcard in each league this season. (A few Rays fans labeled it the "Red Sox Rule".) Over on ESPN's MLB page, the cover image for the story is not the Yankees, not the Phillies or Red Sox. It's the Rays celebrating with fans after game 162 last year. Look...

Mar 1, 2012

Longo leaves intrasquad game after being hit by a pitch

by Aaron Giddens

Joe Smith and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times are reporting that Longo took a pitch to the "fleshy part" of the hand from Matt Bush during a intrasquad game and has sustained a bruise. The Rays insist it's only a bruise and isn't gonna require an X-Ray.

We hear it but I, for one, still worry. We need Longo healthy from the get go this season and this doesn't help.

Feb 27, 2012

Joe takes shot at Red Sox, Red Sox Nation responds

by Aaron Giddens

One of the more interesting quotes of this past weekend was Joe Maddon's response to a question that would the Rays follow the Red Sox lead and ban beer in the clubhouse. In response, Joe replied:


"We're not the Boston Red Sox," ... "I've said it a hundred times, for me at the end of the day, I'd much prefer our players making good decisions, and if you're of legal age, and the game is over, and you've sweated and lost a bunch of pounds and you want to sit down and have a beer, I see nothing wrong with that."


Feb 23, 2012

VIDEO: Pena on being 'home'

by Aaron Giddens

Carlos Pena arrived at Rays Spring Training camp today and had this to say to the media.